Cnr Reserve Road and Brygon Creek Drive, Upper Coomera
If, like me, you live beachside between Burleigh and Broadbeach, you might take family-friendly dining for granted. But let’s be honest, if you live on the “other” side of the highway, there just isn’t the diversity of offerings we have in these central suburbs.
Enter the Wattle Hotel in Upper Coomera. I meet the Manager as we arrive and he explains to me that the property has undergone a massive refurbishment, a reinvention if you will.
“There used to be a nightclub over there, and it wasn’t family friend,” he said. “We’re trying to change that.”
It is a family-friendly space, there’s no doubt about it. And as we sit down to order, a waitress brings over crayons for my 2yo companion. I want to suggest a magnifying glass for my other 80yo companion, but I manage to bite my lip.
We order Trio of Rice Paper Rolls ($10.50) to share for starters and my son’s Fish and chips arrive at the same. time. The rice paper rolls are tasty and tangy, full of fresh herbs, and the dipping sauce could just as well have been served in a Vietnamese restaurant.
I’m kicking myself that I’d talked up the fish and chips for my baby on the way here, because the kids’ menu is commendable. As well as the standard pub fare for kids (with salad and vegetables), there’s a Cracker Box ($8.50) with fresh vegetable sticks, rice crackers and seasonal fruit. Winner!
While we wait for our mains to arrive, my dad comments on the natural light and the view across manicured gardens and trees to the road. He has Battered Barramundi + Chips ($19) and I have the Rump Steak ($23.50), but the menu offers a greater diversity of options. We’re talking Roasted Qld blue pumpkin and pea risotto ($18), Seared barramundi with chips or mash ($26), Eight hour slow braised Riverine lamb shank ($24).
But back to the steak. It’s cooked to perfection, the peppercorn sauce has just the right level of bite and the vegetables are roasted and flavoursome. It’s simple pub grub but it’s done well.
Dad raves about his fish and chips and so does the 2yo.
While I wish I had more time to explore both the entrée menu (Soft-shelled crab salad ($24), House-smoked salmon salad ($16.50), Crispy tempura prawns ($12) as well as the cocktail menu (where you can buy Mojitos, Sangria and Long Island iced tea by the carafe), I settle for a single glass of Zilze Moscato from Victoria and then go and explore the facilities.